Rui Zhou’s Rui Dives Beneath: A Conversation About Our Relationship With Skin

Just as they are in friendship, Thomas approaches curating as both an act of play and of listening....

By Mason Rothschild

Just as they are in friendship, Thomas approaches curating as both an act of play and of listening. From a study into lemanjá (Yoruba ocean goddess) that took Lax all around Brazil in search of her, to the curation of an incredibly expansive evening honoring writer and academic Saidiya Hartman’s latest book Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, Lax always finds unique ways of navigating institution by pushing the limits of imagination.

We’re both from the Upper West Side of Manhattan but never crossed paths growing up. What was it like for you? Like all places where we're from, we have this sense of being imprinted by [the place] but also a deep desire to escape and separate oneself out from it. Being from New York people imagine that you must not have that [desire] because you're from the place everybody wanted to move to. But, it still feels like "No!" I have that desire to leave and continue finding myself.

We’re both from the Upper West Side of Manhattan but never crossed paths growing up. What was it like for you? Like all places where we're from, we have this sense of being imprinted by [the place] but also a deep desire to escape and separate oneself out from it. Being from New York people imagine that you must not have that [desire] because you're from the place everybody wanted to move to. But, it still feels like "No!" I have that desire to leave and continue finding myself.

Yes, that’s why I went to Minnesota for college! Whether it's being a weirdo, queer, gender nonconforming kid, who never really fit in—that's a reason to not want to be from [your place of origin]. Or just like the intensity of white liberalism [on the Upper West Side] which is promising you something that's never going to happen. It's like...wait for it, wait for it! It’s a perpetual deferral of any form of real justice; and it was so in the cultural soup we were sipping on that our critique of it is fine-tuned, but we’re also a product of it.

“IN 2020 I STARTED DECODING THE ART OF SHOW MUSIC WITH BENJI B”

Just as they are in friendship, Thomas approaches curating as both an act of play and of listening. From a study into lemanjá (Yoruba ocean goddess) that took Lax all around Brazil in search of her, to the curation of an incredibly expansive evening honoring writer and academic Saidiya Hartman’s latest book Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, Lax always finds unique ways of navigating institution by pushing the limits of imagination.

Just as they are in friendship, Thomas approaches curating as both an act of play and of listening. From a study into lemanjá (Yoruba ocean goddess) that took Lax all around Brazil in search of her, to the curation of an incredibly expansive evening honoring writer and academic Saidiya Hartman’s latest book Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, Lax always finds unique ways of navigating institution by pushing the limits of imagination. <br> We’re both from the Upper West Side of Manhattan but never crossed paths growing up. What was it like for you? Like all places where we're from, we have this sense of being imprinted by [the place] but also a deep desire to escape and separate oneself out from it. Being from New York people imagine that you must not have that [desire] because you're from the place everybody wanted to move to. But, it still feels like "No!" I have that desire to leave and continue finding myself. <br> Yes, that’s why I went to Minnesota for college! Whether it's being a weirdo, queer, gender nonconforming kid, who never really fit in—that's a reason to not want to be from [your place of origin]. Or just like the intensity of white liberalism [on the Upper West Side] which is promising you something that's never going to happen. It's like...wait for it, wait for it! It’s a perpetual deferral of any form of real justice; and it was so in the cultural soup we were sipping on that our critique of it is fine-tuned, but we’re also a product of it.

Hope springs eternal, and even more-so with the new season on the horizon. Positivity reigns supreme in offerings from our newest brands: tie-dye, smiley faces, growth greens, and soothing scents dominate the SS21 selection.